Even if you’re a native New Yorker or you’ve been biking your whole life, cycling in the city can be straight-up terrifying.
At least 26 bikers were killed by motorists in 2017 alone. That’s the bad news. Want some good?
Protective gear can help you reduce injuries, and the right gear might even save your life. Before you ride, make sure you have all of your safety gear ready to wear and use.
What should you have?
We shouldn’t have to tell you to wear a helmet. Bikers are required by New York City law to wear them, and beyond that it’s just the smart thing to do.
Unfortunately, some riders still don’t follow this advice, so we’re putting it here as the top item on our safety list. Remember, traumatic brain injuries are extremely serious. The right helmet can prevent you from suffering too much damage after an accident.
Scratch that — it can literally save your life. If you aren’t wearing one, start.
Reflective Clothing and Accessories
Bike safety isn’t just worn on your head. Drivers are more likely to see you if you have reflective clothing on while you ride.
Even if you are just wearing bright clothes or have a reflective collar or pockets, you can make your presence known for drivers. Cyclists can even buy reflective shoes!
Reflective Wheel Stickers
It doesn’t stop with clothing. You should also purchase some gear to make your bike more reflective.
Wheel stickers can be purchased and easily added to your wheel to make your bike stand out more. Ask for ones that are weatherproof.
Even if you never take your bike out after sundown, you should still buy protective lights for your bike. Bright LED lights can alert cars of your presence night and day.
They work, too — studies show that bright day lights can reduce bicycle accidents by 20%. When shopping for lights, make sure you test them out in the daylight.
Bell (Or a Horn)
Cars that can’t see you might still be able to hear you — if you purchase a bell or a horn. Plus, they’re quite fun to use.
Motorists aren’t the only people that should look out for others around them on the road. Cyclists should also have gear that gives them a view of what is behind them.
The most obvious reason is to prevent a crash from occurring in the first place, but if you are in an accident, a lack of awareness may also give motorists a reason to blame you for your injuries. Grab some mirrors for your bike so you can easily see cars, cyclists, or anything else that might be approaching or merging nearby.
Why do you need a computer on a bicycle? There’s a few reasons, actually!
One, a bike computer offers riders GPS capabilities so you know where you’re going at all times. Even if you know New York City like the back of your hand, you can use a bicycle computer to monitor your heart rate and keep you safe.
Additionally, some bicycle computers have the ability to detect a fall — and even the ability to call emergency services when the fall is detected. Do some shopping around before you buy one so you can get the best (and safest) features.
Need a cheaper alternative? Look for apps that can help you navigate your route and call emergency services if they detect that you have fallen or are in danger.
Even the Best Gear Can’t Prevent All New York Bike Accidents
There’s some pretty impressive bike safety gear out there, and it really can save your life. The one thing it can’t do, unfortunately, is make others behave in safe ways.
If you have already been injured in a bike accident due to the negligent actions of another, you should not have to pay for their mistake. Fight back with a personal injury lawyer to file a claim or a lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve — so you can get back in the seat faster.